Monrovia - The National Elections Commission (NEC) Board of Commissioners is to rule to either confirm or reverse the decision made by its hearing officer Cllr. John Wonsehleay into complaint of malpractices filed by two incumbent lawmakers of Nimba County in the October 10 representative elections.
The two Nimba County incumbent lawmakers, Larry Younquoi of District #8 and Garrison Yealue of District #4 respectively are seeking another six-year term.
The NEC Board of Commissioner, the highest decision-making body of the election commission, conducted separate hearings at the commission headquarters on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
These hearings were centered on the ruling of Cllr. Wonsehleay, who earlier set aside the complaints by the two lawmakers for “wrongful procedure and failure to prove allegation of malpractices”.
In the first hearing, the legal counsel of candidate Saye Mianeh, who was declared winner by NEC, argued that his client won the district seat over lawmaker Younquoi with 19 votes.
According to Cllr. Cooper Kruah, the action of NEC to call for re-count of the ballots was illegal and against the Constitution because “when the 2011 Referendum was held, re-count was abolished while simple majority was declared for representative elections where the candidate with the highest votes is declared winner”.
He then asked NEC Board of Commissioners to confirm the ruling of hearing Officer Cllr. Wonsehleay.
To the contrary, lawyers representing lawmaker Younquoi and NEC argued that Cllr. Kruah was in error."
"They said the law requires re-count when the votes between the two leading candidates in a representative race are less than 50 votes.
Cllr. Lavela Supuwood, Younquoi’s lawyer, drew the attention of the NEC Board of Commissioners to the Supreme Court’s Opinion of 2012 in a case involving former lawmaker Kuku Dorbor, David Flomo versus Bill Twehway when the high court recognized re-count in the case as legal.
Cllr. Lavela Supuwood prayed the NEC Board of Commissioners to set aside the ruling of hearing Officer Cllr. Wonsehleay.
In the second hearing, lawmaker Garrison Yealu and Cllr. Jallah Barbu told the board that District #4 results was tallied and posted on the board where his client Yealue won but the election magistrate in Nimba County, Princeton Monmia altered the result in favor of candidate Gunpue Kargon.
Cllr. Barbu argued further that when the result was allegedly altered, Monmia shifted blame on NEC Chairman Korkoyah of being the one who altered the result from the district after he ordered that result be scanned and sent to him.
He, too, asked the board of commissioners to reverse the decision of hearing officer Wonsehleay because of reversible error.”
Respondent lawyer Cllr. Cooper Kruah told the board that NEC Magistrate Monmia decision to change the election result was a “harmless error that does not required any defense”, calling on the NEC Board to confirm the ruling of the hearing officer Cllr. Wonsehleay.